An ex-utility company employee has been awarded compensatory and punitive damages in a wrongful termination case. Among the causes of action in his case, the man cited retaliation. He says that he was terminated from his job after he complained that his employer was unfairly targeting underprivileged people with unnecessary fees. This case occurred in another state. However, state and federal courts in Florida see a large number of wrongful termination cases every year.
In his complaint, the man said that his employer specifically targeted poor neighborhoods with delinquency notices. He said that the notices were hand-delivered, and the households were being charged an additional $9 fee for the delivery. After the man complained that it was unfair, he was terminated from his position.
The case was ultimately decided by a panel of jurors, who chose to award the man over $860,000 in compensatory damages. On top of that, they awarded the man additional monies in punitive damages, amounting to $1.3 million. If the behavior of the employer was particularly egregious and intentional, courts may choose to punish the employer with a sizable punitive damages award as they did in this case. The utility company was found liable for both wrongful termination and retaliation.
Individuals who suspect they have lost their jobs as a result of wrongful termination and retaliation in Florida can investigate the possibility of seeking justice in court. Every claim of wrongful termination is different, and the unique facts and circumstances surrounding the firing must be examined carefully to determine if a viable claim for damages exists. However, in the event that morality and ethics surrounding the termination are questionable, victims may wish to pursue compensation for damages under the law.
Source: lajolla.patch.com, "Jury Awards $1.3M to Former SDG&E Employee Who Claimed Wrongful Termination and Retaliation", Michelle Mowad, March 26, 2014